Ralph Erenzo used the small size of his boutique distillery to his advantage when he was starting out. Bar owners were amazed when he introduced his drinks in person, because, as Erenzo says, "Nobody ever gets to meet the distiller; they only meet the liquor distributors." Erenzo focused on high-end European establishments to help him gain traction, then mentioned those names when talking to prospective clients in the U.S. to increase his brand's cachet. The boutique strategy is working: Sales this year should top $1 million, he says.

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